Have a slow website on Hostinger?
Hostinger isn’t known for being fast (they also write fake reviews and are the most unethical hosting company I’ve reviewed). So while I’ll show you how to speed up your website on Hostinger, please consider leaving them because of how unethical they are. They’ve also had security incidents, outages, and we all know their support is a joke. NameHero is a great alternative who also uses LiteSpeed with better support, uptimes, and speeds than Hostinger.
- Check For A Slow TTFB On Hostinger
- Use The LiteSpeed Cache Plugin
- Setup QUIC.cloud CDN
- Use The Latest PHP Version
- Move Your DNS To Cloudflare
- Avoid Common Slow Plugins
- Reduce CPU Usage
- Optimize For Core Web Vitals
- Ditch (Or Optimize) Elementor + Divi
- Reduce And Optimize Fonts
- Leave Hostinger
1. Check For A Slow TTFB On Hostinger
To see if Hostinger is the problem, check your TTFB in PageSpeed Insights (or other tools like WebPageTest and KeyCDN’s Performance Test). Google will flag your TTFB if it’s over 600ms, but under 200ms is even better. TTFB also impacts other core web vitals metrics such as LCP. Nonetheless, a slow TTFB is caused by your server, which means Hostinger would be the issue.
2. Use The LiteSpeed Cache Plugin
Hostinger uses LiteSpeed servers, so it makes sense to use the LiteSpeed Cache plugin which has great reviews. It’s also faster than most cache plugins (including WP Rocket) since it uses server-level caching and has extensive settings which can speed up your website significantly.
LiteSpeed Cache has a lot of options and it’s key to make sure you’re using the best settings. While I highly recommend reading that complete tutorial to configure it, below are a few key things you can do in the LiteSpeed Cache setting that can help fix a slow website on Hostinger.
Install Redis / Memcached – in the LiteSpeed Cache Object settings, you can choose to enable Redis or memcached. To pass the connection test, login to your Hostinger hPanel, find the PHP Extensions setting, then enable the Redis or memcached extension. Save changes, then retest it.
Enable Browser Cache – enable browser cache in the LiteSpeed Cache Browser settings.
Enable Image Optimizations – LiteSpeed Cache + QUIC.cloud does image optimization, so you don’t need a plugin for it. Make sure you compress images, use WebP if you want to serve images in next-gen formats, and don’t preserve EXIF data. You can use the same settings below.
Enable Page Optimizations – these settings need to be tested carefully but greatly impact core web vitals, CLS, and other metrics. They also depend on other LiteSpeed Cache settings, so make sure you read my tutorial (or their documentation) to get the most out of these settings.
Clean Your Database – LiteSpeed Cache cleans junk from your database and limits post revisions.To go a step further, install WP-Optimize and go through your actual plugin tables, then delete those left behind by old plugins you’ve already deleted where it says “not installed.”
3. Setup QUIC.cloud CDN
- Request a domain key in LiteSpeed Cache
- Enable QUIC.cloud in your CDN settings
- Link your domain to QUIC.cloud and visit the dashboard
- Enable the CDN in QUIC.cloud’s CDN settings
- Use CNAME method for setting it up
- QUIC.cloud will give you a CNAME record
- Paste QUIC.cloud CNAME record in Hostinger hPane’s Zone Editor
- Enable static cache + QUIC backend in the settings
- Wait 24 hours for DNS to propagate, then make sure the CDN works in QUIC.cloud
4. Use The Latest PHP Version
Hostinger is good about releasing newer PHP versions and now supports PHP 8.0.
- Login to hPanel and open your Hosting Account dashboard.
- Under the Advanced section, click “PHP Configuration.”
- Select the PHP version (I recommend 7.4 or 8.0).
- Click save and check your website for visual errors.
5. Move Your DNS To Cloudflare
Most domain registrars (NameCheap, GoDaddy, Hostinger) have a slow DNS which causes latency. You’re better off using Cloudflare which is a performant DNS tested on dnsperf.com.
Switching your DNS to Cloudflare is easy. Sign up for a Cloudflare account, add your website, select the free plan, then Cloudflare will assign 2 nameservers which you’ll change in hPanel.
Login to your Hostinger hPanel and go to the Domains tab. Copy the 2 nameservers provided by Cloudflare, then paste them here. And finally, click “Done, check nameservers” in Cloudflare.
6. Avoid Common Slow Plugins
7. Reduce CPU Usage
You have to be careful with exceeding CPU usage on Hostinger.
Hostinger’s plans only come with a certain amount of inodes and resources. High CPU plugins, themes, or just lots of traffic will increase CPU which can cause a slow website and 503 errors.
This has been posted many times in Facebook Groups:
CPU usage can be seen in your Hostinger hPanel under Hosting → Manage Order → Usage.
Upgrading plans will help (since higher plans come with more inodes), but you should be doing things to reduce CPU so hopefully, you don’t have to upgrade. Here are tips for reducing CPU:
- Remove high CPU plugins
- Remove heavy page builders
- Use a CDN to offload resources
- Clean your database thoroughly
- Upgrade to the latest PHP version
- Disable the WordPresss Heartbeat API
- Block bad bots from hitting your server
- Replace wp-cron jobs with real cron jobs
- Check if certain cache plugin settings increase CPU
- Disable unused plugin modules/features you don’t use
- Protect wp-admin by limiting login attempts or moving login page
- Avoid running resource-intensive websites on cheap, shared hosting
8. Optimize For Core Web Vitals
Core web vitals are another beast.
Even if you don’t have a slow TTFB, Hostinger can affect many items such as LCP (largest contentful paint). Below are some tips to help you optimize for core web vitals which you can check in PageSpeed Insights as well as your core web vitals report in Google Search Console.
Cumulative Layout Shift – use Google’s layout shift debugger to find which elements on your website shift while loading. It’s usually related to fonts, CSS, elements without specified dimensions (images, iframes, etc), animations, or not reserving space for dynamic content (such as advertisements). Try hosting fonts locally and preloading them, adding font-display: swap to your font’s CSS, disabling asynchronous CSS in your cache plugin, using critical CSS, and using CSS transform/translate properties when using animations. These should all help improve CLS.
Removing unused CSS/JS isn’t related to Hostinger, but it can speed up a slow website.
- Avoid JS/CSS heavy plugins/themes
- Use CSS removal tools like PurifyCSS
- Activate optimizations in Elementor/Divi
- Use asset unloading plugins like Perfmatters or Asset CleanUp Pro
- Code your header/footer in CSS so it doesn’t use page builder code
10. Ditch (Or Optimize) Elementor + Divi
Elementor + Divi are notorious for slowing down WordPress as shown in page builder speed tests. Obviously, it’s best to remove it completely and replace it with a lightweight alternative (GeneratePress, Gutenberg, Oxygen Builder, Kadence theme, or even Elementor Hello Theme).
11. Reduce And Optimize Fonts
Check your GTmetrix Waterfall chart to see your font’s load times.
Reducing the number of fonts on your website is the first step. Make sure fonts are hosted locally instead of pulling from third-party sites like fonts.gstatic.com (you can do this manually or by using the OMGF plugin). Use .woff2 formats and not .ttf. Finally, test preloading fonts which you can do in LiteSpeed Cache. Divi and Elementor also have settings to optimize fonts. You can also try using font-display: swap, serving fonts from your CDN, and using system fonts.
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13. Leave Hostinger
Hostinger is cheap, but they’re not fast and are very unethical. Here are 2 hosts that are better:
Cloudways has excellent feedback in Facebook Groups if you read the threads. I use their Vultr HF plan and have a fast TTFB with nice GTmetrix results (feel free to click through my blog to see how fast it loads). They use Object Cache Pro (Redis), NVMe, and have 39 data centers worldwide. Main cons are no file manager and email hosting is $1/email/month. Cloudways is a little techier because they use a custom dashboard which requires launching a server, but most people find it easy once you get used to it. It’s monthly pricing with no high renewals, 3-day trials, and includes a free migration. If your TTFB is slow, try cloning your site on Vultr HF and test the results (you can also see screenshots of people’s migration results + Facebook polls below). They have high TrustPilot ratings and if for some reason you’re not happy, just cancel your 3-day trial.
NameHero uses LiteSpeed servers which are a newer/faster type of server (it’s cheap and voted highly in Facebook polls). You can find lots of positive feedback in Facebook Groups. I suggest NameHero over similar hosts (like A2) because they’re more reliable with better uptimes and US-based support. They also use cPanel which is beginner-friendly. NameHero has a 30-day refund policy and does free migrations, but I would only use them if your visitors are in the US or Netherlands since that’s where the data centers are. I generally recommend the Turbo Cloud plan which comes with 3GB RAM + NVMe. Large (WooCommerce) sites should use their managed cloud (or Cloudways).
Hostinger sucks, do your research. They write fake reviews, were banned from Facebook Groups for voting for themselves in Facebook polls, pose as customers to trick people into buying their hosting, and had a major security breach. They even copied my website and changed all hosting recommendations to Hostinger. Please don’t support this sketchy host.
Conclusion: a slow website on Hostinger is usually caused by their slow TTFB, low inode limit, DNS, and slow servers. While it’s good to optimize your site no matter which host you’re on, but if you’re stuck after doing these optimizations, try moving to another host and retest your site.